Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Desert Week (A Simple Summer Theme)

So when Big Brother requested a "Desert Week" in our Simple Summer Theme series, I was a little stumped on what we might do for projects and activities.

But, in the end I was excited about some of the different projects and materials we were able to explore. (Although this was a slightly shorter theme week.)

1. Read a Good Book
This book Deserts by Gail Gibbons was a great resource for Desert Week! It was easy to read aloud and provided great, introductory information. We have a handful of other desert nonfiction books, but this one was by far our favorite book to learn from this theme week.

2. Paint on Sandpaper
We've already shared one post on how we used this quick and unique painting material to create some desert like looking paintings. The boys were able to use the inspiration of some of the scenes from the book above to create their images. This was one of the projects I had to join in on too! 

3. Play with Sand Foam
We discovered this awesome activity on Paging Fun Moms - Simple to put together and such a cool sensory experience. Although we enjoyed using trucks, dune buggies, and jeeps into the sand foam I can see us using it again in other ways!

4. Play in the Sandbox
Yup, this one was really that simple. But with no actual desert in sight our large sandbox became a "go-to" spot during the week for some great imaginative play. The boys especially enjoyed using their collection of trucks, jeeps, etc. that seemed like desert vehicles. 

5. Inspect Cactus and Succulent Plants
Although we didn't buy any we visited the cactus and succulent section of a local greenhouse. It was fun for the boys to see some of the types of plants we had learned about. Planting a "cactus garden" is still something we'd love to try. 

6. Cactus Collage 
I spotted several versions of this project on Pinterest and this was our take on it. First I had the boys each cut a cactus out of green construction paper. Big Brother tried to make his different shapes as we'd seen in the books we'd read, whereas Little Brother was excited to just be able to practice his scissor skills. Afterwards they glued them onto orange paper and used a shape punch to cut out small cactus "flowers." Finally they used white paint and a fork to paint the spines onto their cactuses. 

7. Desert Animals Sensory Bin 
As we shared about earlier this month, we used a new sensory material from Sands Alive! and Safari Toob Animals to create this Desert Animals Sensory Bin. A great way to let kids set up their own desert small world. 

Despite my original hesitations, Desert Week turned out pretty cool and with several new activity ideas!

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